Testing the rocks

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Pile testing is set to take place outside of Wallaceburg at three different locations, Otter Creek Wind Farm officials confirmed.

Adam Rosso, director of project development for the Otter Creek Wind Farm project, said “independent engineering experts” are conducting geotechnical testing.

“As part of the geotechnical test program, one test pile will be installed at three separate locations,” Rosso said.

“Pile testing is an important step in the engineering process. It helps us understand the ground characteristics, and provides us with the information needed to design the foundation for the turbines.”

Rosso said the community was informed about the testing beforehand.

“The Boralex approach is to keep our neighbours informed,” he said. “Letters were sent through the mail to residents in the immediate vicinity of the three testing locations.”

Rosso says the Renewable Energy Approval Application has been deemed complete by the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) and is under technical review.

“The REA approval will be issued once MOECC technical review is completed, and is anticipated some time in the first quarter of 2018,” Rosso said.

“We invite residents to contact us with any questions or concerns they have about the testing. We can be reached at 1-844-330-9061 during regular business hours or you can contact us any time via our website at www.ottercreekwindfarm.ca.”

Mike deBakker, a member of the Wallaceburg Area Wind Concerns group, posted on social media that residents received a letter in the mail on Jan. 10 that the testing would begin that day.

“Surely companies who want to be good corporate citizens would give us a better heads up,” deBakker wrote.

Kevin Jakubec, the spokesperson for Water Wells First, asked the MOECC in an email on Thursday to not allow the testing.

“Is the test piling program under MOECC supervision or is it done without MOECC involvement?” Jakubec wrote. “Water Wells First would ask that the MOECC not allow test piling in the Otter Creek area until the MOECC fulfills its media statements that it is ‘reviewing the evidence and is taking the concerns of the local people seriously.”

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